The Humble Mayor of Grumble

Books for Empathy, Early Readers, Fiction, Short Stories / Wednesday, May 27th, 2020

As lockdown starts to ease, and we all tentatively start to go about our new normal, I’m sure we will start to find ways to learn, remember and educate ourselves and future generations on what happened in 2020 (and potentially beyond). Books tell stories, stories of the past, present and future, and are one of the best creative ways of remembering big events such as this. The Humble Mayor of Grumble, written by Hilary Robinson, with accompanying illustration from Steven Johnson is one such creation which they have collaborated on and are kindly offering free of charge.

There have been many e-books published designed to help children understand our current circumstances, learn about the pandemic, and to help them find ways of dealing with the changes. These are very important, instant bookish helpers. The Humble Mayor of Grumble is a rather different and unique kettle of literary fish. Free for download, this illustrated poster story is a fable for our time.

We all know and love the fairytales and fables, written years ago, often with a moral or lesson, often just for storytelling. The Humble Mayor of Grumble is not about the science behind Covid, how many times you should wash your hands or how far apart you should stand. It’s fictional, but based on our very real current circumstances. It’s a story of a secret virus visitor, who comes to a fictional town and wreaks havoc on the villagers and their lives. It’s a story of lockdown, of learning to appreciate the simple life, about gratitude to those helpers who may have once been overlooked, . This is about hope and community.

Although technically a fictional piece of writing, this is very much reflective of what’s happening right now. Hilary has written a story here that will stand the test of time, that fits lots of different circumstances and experiences of the lockdown. This beautifully written tale is perfect for telling now, and will be ideal for 10, 20, 30 years time, when we’re still talking about these strange times.

Steven’s lovely illustration, which is playful and bright, sketchy and fresh perfectly exemplifies the feeling of hope, togetherness and community that came from the lockdown and which is also told in the text. Adding colour and interest to the story making it eye catching for children.

The Humble Mayor of Grumble is a story written for children which tells the story that we are living right now, but in an endearing and whimsical way that removes the fear which we don’t want to pass onto children, and gives a hope and positivity that we all need right now.

You can download The “Humble Mayor of Grumble for FREE now from Strauss House Productions.

You can find out more about Author Hilary Robinson on her website:

And illustrator Steven Johnson can be found here:

Thank you for reading this Book Monster review.


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